FIFA criticised by its anti-discrimination chief for no action against homophobic World Cup chants
FIFA’s anti-discrimination boss has criticised its lack of action against homophobic chants at World Cup matches.
Fans of both Brazil and Mexico fans were heard chanting homophobic insults at the World Cup, but last week, FIFA dropped its investigation against Mexico, concluding that anti-gay chants by the country’s fans were “not considered insulting”.
Jeffrey Webb, the head of the football governing body’s anti-discrimination task force had in March said FIFA-appointed anti-discrimination officers should be present at the World Cup, but none materialised.
He said: “It is obvious there is a disconnect between what we in the task force deem as racism and discrimination and what the disciplinary committee deems as racism and discrimination.
“There is no reason why one year on from the task force being set up why we don’t have anti-discrimination officers here.
“I don’t believe for one minute that there is anyone within FIFA who doesn’t respect the fact that fighting racism and discrimination is of paramount importance, but there was so much that had to be done leading up to the World Cup, this could not be implemented.”
The committee said Mexican fans shouting the word “puto”, meaning “faggot”, had not been insulting, as they were not directed at a specific player.
Webb also confirmed that the anti-discrimination task force, had not met since September 2013, as the administration of FIFA had not been able to organise a meeting.
Croatia and Russia were cleared, after their supporters displayed neo-Nazi banners, because individuals could not be identified.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera had previously defended the use of the slur, claiming “it’s not that bad”.